FORT WORTH, Texas - Fort Worth police announced Monday a fourth officer tested positive for COVID-19.
The officer has not been at work since March 20 and is recovering at home.
Mayor Betsy Price sat down with Manny Ramirez and Michael Glynn, the presidents of the Fort Worth Police and Firefighters Associations, for an update on first responders.
“Reporting these numbers never gets any easier,” she said. “It just astounds me at the rate that they’re growing.”
“While we are still serving, we’re still answering the calls, there’s no doubt about it that there is a little bit of apprehension from our public servants just wondering what they are taking home to their families and what they’re exposing themselves to on duty,” Glynn said.
Dispatchers are communicating with police and firefighters whether or not a call is COVID-19 related. But sometimes they don’t always have a heads up.
“If we’re coming to their house, if it’s possible to meet us at the front door and to maybe even meet us in the front yard. It provides the need for us to use less personal protective equipment,” Glynn said.
“Our officers are out there working every single day, day in and day out,” Ramirez said.
Tracie Martin is the executive director for Kids Community Pre-School and Daycare with locations in Arlington and Grand Prairie. She wants to help relieve some of the pressure for first responders in Tarrant County.
“We want them to know that by us remaining open to take care of their children, that’s one less thing that they have to worry about,” she said. “We wanna be who they can lean on. We wanna be who’s there for them.”
Martin says the daycare’s typical attendance of 300 children is down to just about 50. No more than 10 people are allowed in any classroom at a time, and tables are spaced throughout the rooms.
“We do now allow anyone in the building except staff and the children,” she explained. “We have a drive-thru pick up where at the time they come in in the morning, we check temperatures, we also ask questions about what’s going on in the family and things of that nature.”
That way, their employees keep a paycheck and first responders can focus on the challenges they’re facing in the world.
“You can’t give them a hug anymore,” Price said. “But you can thank them. You can send them a message and thank them.”